Friday, January 25, 2019

The Past Couple of Days

Late Wednesday morning, my cousin called me with the news that her aunt had passed away, earlier that morning.  This is a member of my extended family and one of my honorary aunts.  My maternal grandparents knew her parents; she and her older sister knew my mother and her siblings since childhood.  I grew up calling her Aunty.  It's the same lady who hosted the New Year's Day luncheon.  She had been in poor health since last year, when her husband of 64 years died.  She had been able to sit up and join the conversation on New Year's Day, but her health declined rapidly after that.  On Wednesday, she breathed her last, in her bed at home, with her older sister holding her hand and her younger daughter by her side,   Apparently, a priest had come and given her her last rites, earlier that morning.  She died less than 8 months after her beloved husband; she always said she couldn't live without him.

Later that evening, my cousin and her daughter gave me a ride to aunt's home.  The family and close friends were gathering to say the rosary.  On the way, we stopped at a popular Cuban bakery to buy some of their potato balls and individual meat pies.  The potato balls are made of mashed potatoes, made into balls with a meat filling inside, and deep fried.  The meat pies are about 3 inches across, made with puff pastry rounds, with a meat filling.  I bought a dozen of each to take to the rosary.  Aunt's body was still in the house when we went.  We stayed until the body was taken to the mortuary.

Lunch had been a scrambled egg on a piece of whole wheat bread, toasted.  I had planned on a salad and salmon for dinner.  But, of course, I was at the rosary at dinner time and there really wasn't any low-carb options, there, as people had just brought whatever they could to contribute to a snack meal.  There was rice congee (rice porridge), pizza, fried chicken, tortilla roll ups, taquitos, the potato balls and meat pies my cousin and I took, etc. So, I ate one potato ball and one meat pie.  It was not ideal, but, I figured it was OK, under the circumstances.  I didn't have any of the desserts and I drank water instead of soda, so I feel I didn't do too badly.

Wednesday night, I found out that a friend's mother also passed away, earlier that morning!  They say that news of deaths come in threes...

On Wednesday, I was grateful for:
- Cousin and her daughter giving me a ride to aunt's home
- Having attended what turned out to be the last New Year's Day gathering aunt hosted
- Being able to contribute something towards the rosary meal
- Being able to offer my condolences to her grieving family
- Having known this aunt for as long as I did

On Thursday morning, I slept in and dreamed that my house was being foreclosed!  In my dream, some unknown people were removing the furniture from my house and tossing the items into a big garbage truck!    I was screaming and asking them who they were and why were they taking away my furniture!  I even called 911, in my dream, crying, apologizing because it wasn't a medical emergency, but strangers were here removing my furniture and I didn't know why!  Then, one of the strangers, a young woman, told me that their company now owns my mortgage and they were foreclosing on me!  No!  I woke up from this very vivid dream, thinking, "But, I don't have a mortgage!"  I paid off the mortgage, a few years ago and I live a debt-free life.  Maybe the dream is a sign that I really need to replace my furniture!  The living room sofas, at least, which are more than 22 years old, as the upholstery is in shreds after being used as scratching posts by Dancer and his predecessors!

I called my cousin, Thursday morning, to check on her to see how she was (the aunt who passed away had been married to her uncle - her father's younger brother).  I also told her I planned to go shopping in the afternoon, if she needed to go, too (earlier, she had called and asked me to let her know if I was going to the Armenian store or the pharmacy), but she said she didn't need to go.

So, I went by myself.  First, to the Armenian store, where I bought broccoli, zucchini, and a papaya.  Then, I went to the pharmacy to pick up my inhaler.  Next, to the dollar store (right next to the pharmacy) where I bought a few more groceries, some packets of vegetable and flower seeds, a box of waste basket liners, a box of parchment paper, and a packet of toothbrushes.

1/24 Groceries (and Dancer, inspecting it all)
At the Armenian store, I bought:
Zucchini @ $.99/lb = $1.06
Broccoli @ $.99/lb = $1.04
Papaya @ $.69/lb = $1.32
Total = $3.42

The prices were a little bit better than earlier in the week.

Armenian Store Receipt

At the dollar store, I bought:
1 cauliflower = $1.00
4 cans mackerel in brine = $4.00
3 cans mixed vegetables @ $.80 = $2.40 (they used to be $.50, each!)
1 jar salsa = $1.00
1 (6 oz) pack raspberries = $1.00
1 (6 oz) pack blackberries = $1.00
1 (6 oz) pack blueberries = $1.00
1 box cake mix = $1.00 (to make a dessert to take to this Saturday's rosary gathering)
Total = 12.40

Total spent on groceries on Thursday = $3.42 + $12.40 = $15.82

Spent to date: $.99 + $2.07 + $10.21 + $22.33 + 18.03 + $15.82 = $69.45

January grocery budget = $75
Amount left = $75 - $69.45 = $5.55

That'll be just enough to top up the fresh produce, next week!

Non-Grocery Items
In addition to the grocery items, I also bought 7 packets of vegetable seeds (two each of green beans and peas, two type of tomatoes, a packet of zucchini) and a packet of calendula flower seeds for $.25 each, a box of waste basket liners, a box of parchment paper, and a package of 4 toothbrushes, all from the dollar store.  With sales tax (on the non-grocery items), my total came to $17.71.

Dollar Store Receipt

On the way home from shopping, I stopped by the library and returned the two books I had borrowed and checked out another book.  This one is a 7-day loan and may not be renewed, so I need to read it, right away.

After I got home, I put water to the new peach tree and the orange tree.  Then, I cooked the salmon I had bought on Tuesday, as I couldn't cook it on Wednesday, as planned.

Lunch on Thursday was a salad - lettuce, carrot, cucumber, a little bit of the parmesan cheese that had come with the earlier salad kit, plus Caesar dressing.  I didn't take a photo of that.

Dinner was a portion of salmon, with broccoli, zucchini, and corn (measured out 1/4 cup frozen corn before boiling it):

Thursday Dinner

The zucchini got a little overcooked for my liking, but, it was OK.  I waited two hours after dinner, checked my sugar, and had some of the raspberries for dessert (about half of the container).  Later, I felt hungry and ate some roasted peanuts.

In the night, I called friend R and spoke with her.  Later, I video chatted with my daughter.  I tried to write a blog post after that, but it was late and I was tired.

On Thursday, I was grateful for:
- The foreclosure on the house was just a dream!
- A sunny, warm (high of 79F!) day
- Being able to run my errands
- Libraries
- Family and friends

Hope all is well with all of you.


  1. Doctors will tell you that you really can die from a broken heart. Sorry for you losses. It's hard part of life.

    1. Yes, she just lost her will to live, after he died. Thank you, Live and Learn. The uncles have all died and now, one by one, the aunties are going, too. My cousins and I are now taking their places and becoming the older generation. But, that is life, isn't it?

  2. You have had a rough couple of days. I hope that is the end of bad news. I'm sorry for your losses. What a horrible nightmare. I wonder what it means? Maybe the loss you have been experiencing?

    You have done very well this month with your food budget. I have been looking over mine today and can't really find more money at the present time, so I will have to find ways to spend less. I know it can be done if I use some creativity.

    1. Thank you, Susan. I think the dream is telling me to get rid of the old sofas! LOL! But, I am not quite ready to do that, yet! Or, maybe it's a reminder not to cling to things - all can be taken from you. At least, I didn't dream that they were taking me away! I've had that dream, too, where my late father appeared and wanted me to go with him; I wanted to follow him, but, somewhere between my dream and semi-awakened state, I was afraid that if I did follow him, I might not have the option of coming back, that I might die in real life. So, I told him that I couldn't go with him because my daughter was still too young (she wasn't quite 15 at the time) and needed me; I couldn't leave her. Then, he continued on his way and I woke up! I truly believe that he came for me, that night.

      I am sorry you are unable to find more money in your budget, Susan. I've been there. I know you are already very frugal, but, hopefully, you can find ways to spend less.

  3. So sorry to hear about the losses of special people. It was good that you were able to go to your Aunty's house and be with everyone.

    I can never figure out where dreams come from although occasionally there might be a clue in something I have read or seen on the computer. Your dream was certainly dramatic and falls into the category of those where it is a relief to wake up and find out that it was all a dream! I've had a few of those, with lost passports or purses featuring, or realizing that I have a flight to catch and it's already half an hour away and I haven't even packed! One can be really busy while asleep, as you were with your reactions in the dream about the house foreclosure. I usually think back to what I was snacking on the night before!

    1. Thank you, Bushlady. I was glad I could be there, on Wednesday, although I might have caught a cold from a couple of people who were there with colds and coughs!

      Hm...I forget what I snacked on before bed, on Wednesday night! I don't think it was anything unusual - probably some cashews or something. Maybe I should stick to peanuts - I had some, last night, and didn't have any dreams that I can remember! :D

  4. I'm sorry to read of your losses, Bless. It's always difficult to see someone fade away like that but it's a blessing you have a close supportive family.
    I also had an vivid dream last night which involved some very rude hotel staff, some hospital patients and Lily going missing at the seaside! X

    1. Thank you, Jules.

      Oh, no, not Lily going missing! That must have been a scary dream! I guess some dreams are about things we dread the most.

  5. I'm sorry for your loss, Bless. It's goo that you were able to visit aunt's family.

    What a horrible dream. However, now you can use your dream as an excuse to by new furniture. :)

    1. Thank you, Nil. We will miss this aunt, but, she is no longer in pain and suffering.

      It was a scary dream! But, yes, I now have a perfect excuse for new furniture! :D

  6. Sorry to hear that you received sad news, Bless. But how amazing to be married for 64 years; what an achievement. Glad to hear that your horrid dream was just that..

    1. Thank you, Eloise. Yes, 64 years - that's practically a life time, isn't it?


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